Emirates plane escapes mid-air collision

The Emirates flight was making its descent as another aircraft was preparing to climb

An Emirates Airline A380 was involved in a near miss while approaching an airport on Mahe Island in Mauritius earlier this month.

The Emirates flight – EK703 – was making its descent as another aircraft, an Air Seychelles Airbus A330-200 was preparing to climb. According to a report in the Aviation Herald, air traffic control staff in Mauritius had cleared the Air Seychelles flight to take-off and advised it to climb to an altitude of 37,000 feet, while advising the EK703 to descend from 40,000 feet to 38,000 fleet.

According to the Aviation Herald, the Emirates aircraft instead descended to 36,000 feet, towards the flight path of the Air Seychelles flight, forcing it to turn sharply to avoid collision after the collision avoidance systems on both planes were initiated.

“We commend our Captain Roberto Vallicelli and Seychellois First officer Ronny Morel who were operating the HM054 flight from Mauritius to Seychelles on the evening of Friday, 14 July 2017,” Air Seychelles said in a statement.

According to a spokesperson, Emirates “has received reports of an event on 14 July 2017 in relation to aircraft separation involving flight EK703 in Mauritius airspace.”

“The matter has been reported to the respective air transport authorities and Emirates will extend its full cooperation to any investigation,” the spokesperson added. “The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”

The Aviation Herald also noted that the incident probably stems from an incorrect reading of air traffic control’s instructions, which was left uncorrected.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com   


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